What You Need to Know About Earthquake Safety

Earthquakes can happen and can be more common in some regions more than others. Earthquakes can vary in magnitude and some quakes cause minimal damage while others can cause massive amounts of destruction. We have put together a list of what you need to know about earthquake safety to help keep you and your family safe.

What To Do Before an Earthquake?

  1. Know your area. Knowing how far or close you are on the fault lines could help you determine how susceptible you are to the effects of an earthquake.
  2. Create a disaster plan. Outline emergency meeting points and know where the water, food, and emergency kit are kept. Remember to include a list of emergency and family contact phone numbers.
  3. Learn first aid. This training will be a tremendous help in case of injuries as a result of an earthquake.
  4. Learn how to turn off the utilities. Turning of the gas, water and electricity if damaged from an earthquake, can help reduce injury and prevent further damage.
  5. Put together an emergency kit which includes:
    • A fire extinguisher
    • A first aid kit
    • A battery powered radio
    • A flashlight
    • Extra batteries
    • Water & Non-perishable food supplies (3 day supply minimum)
    • Blankets
    • Cooking Supplies
    • Fuel
    • Whistle

What to do During an Earthquake

  1. Drop, cover and hold on. Drop to the ground, find coverage under a sturdy object such as a desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops. The goal is to protect yourself from falling objects that could potentially hit you.
  2. Protect yourself. If you can’t take safe cover, protect your head and neck with your arms.
  3. Stay where you are. If you are indoors, stay inside. If you are outside, stay outside and move to a clear area free of structures, power lines, trees, and other hazards if safe to do so. If you are in a car, stop your car and stay inside.
  4. Wait. If you are indoors, wait until after the shaking stops before going outside as you could be hit by falling debris trying to get out.
  5. Don’t use matches, candles, or any flame. Remember that broken gas lines can happen in an event of an earthquake, and could cause additional explosions or fire if exposed to a flame.

What to Do After an Earthquake

  1. First check yourself and others for injuries. Retrieve your first aid kit and apply first aid if required.
  2. Check water, gas, and electricity lines for damage. If damaged, shut off the valves if you know how and if it is safe to do so.
  3. Turn on the radio and listen for instructions or evacuation plans. Don’t use your phone unless it’s for a life threatening emergency.
  4. Don’t enter damaged buildings. Return only when authorities have deemed it safe to enter.
  5. Be prepared for aftershocks. Additional earthquakes can often follow the main event, and can be as big or bigger than the initial quake.

Earthquakes happen without warning, so it’s important to be prepared and learn about earthquake safety. Know your evacuation plan at home, workplace or school, where the safest places are, and what areas to avoid. Being prepared can help you and your loved ones stay safe.